Interventionism versus non-interventionism

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moda0306
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Re: Interventionism versus non-interventionism

Post by moda0306 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:05 am

moda0306 wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:40 am
Kbg wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:06 am
I think we are getting a bit loose with the definition of interventionist. I think we weren’t really interventionist until the late 1800s and by no stretch of the standard definition could you call the two world wars interventionist.

Latin America, Hawaii, a bit in Africa, Russia 1919) those are interventions (e.g. getting involved in the internal affairs of a country via outright support or overthrow of a domestic political faction). And, no question we had an imperialist phase with the Philippines and Cuba being the prime examples.

Declared wars are not interventions, they are international political disputes being resolved by force/violence.

Also, the context of manifest destiny is pretty important and normally forgotten by the PC oriented. During the period of MD, the entire North American continent was an open field. Someone was going to fill the void and the winners ended up being the US and the UK. Don’t forget the French were trying to establish a Mexican client state as late as the US civil war.
Declared wars are absolutely interventions... you could argue they're more obvious or more legitimate, but they are in no-way non-intervention. In-fact I think one of the main names for folks who wanted to stay out of WWI were "non-interventionists." "Isolationists" was the pejorative version of that.

And there's also a "power vacuum" or some similar "context" to colonialism. "If we don't do it someone else will" has been a common excuse over time for many "interventionist" policies by many governments. It may aid in understanding the logic behind most interventions, colonial adventures, and even genocides, but it's by no means "non-intervention" just because someone else might do it too.
For the record, I'm not trying to make some melodramatic accusation of unique guilt of the US Government.

I'm basically saying that "state structures and ambitious corporate interests and profiteering individuals will engage in violence to survive and prosper." This is a human thing... not a US thing... it's just important we operate in the realm of reality, and it's obvious why the US didn't join European wars in the 1800's and but did in the 1900's, and it's not a shift from anti-interventionism to interventionism.
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Re: Interventionism versus non-interventionism

Post by Maddy » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:17 pm

The merits of interventionism per se is an entirely different question than the merits of that special breed of interventionism that snubs the legitimate interests of the American people and that acts at the behest and for the benefit of transnational corporate interests.
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Re: Interventionism versus non-interventionism

Post by hardlawjockey » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:26 pm

moda0306 wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:07 am
hardlawjockey wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:37 pm
At one time I would have called myself a Libertarian but today I tend to eschew all forms of ideology and am more of a pragmatist.

Having said that, the U.S.A. has had an interventionist foreign policy since at least the end of WWII. Can someone point out what benefit this has been to the American taxpayer (Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan? - Anybody?). In some of Donald Trump's statements he seemed to agree with me on this which is the main reason I voted for him but like a lot of things about him, I have to adopt a wait and see attitude.
I've gotten to the point where it seems to me the US has always had an interventionist "foreign" policy, but it's always been decently good at value comparison and not biting off more than it can chew. For years I sort of bought the argument that "until Teddy" or "until Wilson" or "Until FDR" or "Until Truman" we were non-interventionist... but think about this for a second...

During the 1800's, we were on the doorstep of billions of acres of largely arable "foreign" land that ended up being on top of other valuable natural resources such as gold and oil, mostly "owned" by weakening foreign powers thousands of miles away, or weak competitors to the South, or low-tech easily-conquerable "savages." Do we really get to pat ourselves on the back for slaughtering & annexing our way west and not getting involved in the Revolutions of 1848? What would the upside to any class of politician have been for that? Even a very basic cost/benefit analysis for any half-witted politician would see there was FAR more to gain by focusing our military adventures on the Western half of what is now the U.S. and mostly not shipping legions of folks overseas to play the colonial game elsewhere. The reason France, Britain & Spain look "colonialist" and "interventionist" by-comparison is that they weren't going to be able to conquer each other... Europe was pretty well-locked down. Better to send boats to India & the Americas. I'm sure if you smacked a billion acres of arable and resource-laden land right to the West of Europe, they probably would have avoided India & Africa for a while.

We were plenty interventionist in the 1800's. We just had targets that were simultaneously less conspicuous given how we view U.S. territory today and more profitable from a cost/benefit perspective to U.S. elite interests. Once we achieved manifest destiny, naturally, our colonialist hunger started to stretch to central/south America, and eventually Europe as a good last-minute tie-breaker to protect our trade & banking interests during WWI/II, and then we ended up (naturally) a world-power. We just took the game we've always been playing to the next level.

So short-story-long, I don't see us as ever having had a "limited government" approach. Giving us credit for that is like giving the Mongols credit for not conquering the Americas. Anyone knows you start with the low-hanging fruit... which is exactly what the USA did.

Of course none of this is new information... but it seems like it's rarely carried over to up-ending the narrative that the U.S. was largely anti-interventionist pre-WWII or during the guilded age or what-have-you.
I tend to think of WWII as the demarcation point where we took a hardcore turn into interventionism. There was a strong anti-interventionist movement as a response to foreign adventures in WWI and the Philippines and Americans were growing sick of it. Even FDR campaigned on a promise to keep us out of Europe's wars. And then came Pearl Harbor and I think that's where it all changed. The idea that "we have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" took hold for good and refuses to let go.
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Re: Interventionism versus non-interventionism

Post by Kbg » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:00 pm

The idea that "we have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" took hold for good and refuses to let go.

Anyone who says the above disparagingly has never actually been in a war zone. Personally, I'm totally cool with erring on the side of caution with this one. Why do you think the generation who fought WW II was so interventionist, just for fun?

I thought the second invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism. But a not bad side effect in my view is that it, and Syria, served as a meat grinder for thousands of jihadis.

Moda's comment about reality is dead on.
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Re: Interventionism versus non-interventionism

Post by hardlawjockey » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:34 pm

Kbg wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:00 pm
The idea that "we have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" took hold for good and refuses to let go.

Anyone who says the above disparagingly has never actually been in a war zone.
Well, I spent 12 months in a war zone and saw nothing that convinced me of the truth of that statement.

The first time I heard it I was in high school in 1967 when a military recruiter came to school to give a talk about the war in Vietnam. I can hardly imagine that happening today but back then, where I grew up at least, nobody saw anything wrong with it. I believe he made that statement word for word and after his talk he got a standing ovation led by the president of the class. I remember it very well because I was sitting right beside him. I don't remember if I stood up or not but I probably did even though I didn't want to because I was thinking everything the man said was bullshit, althoug that's far too mild a word for it.

As things subsequently turned out, I ended up in Vietnam (Brownwater Navy) and the president of the class did not. I also learned much later that by the time that recruiter gave his speech, the CIA had already published a paper stating that the "Domino Theory" about countries falling like dominoes to the communists if we didn't stand up against them in Vietnam was probably false. The fact that shortly after we left Vietnam, there was a war between Vietnam and China, helped bear this out.

There are a lot of Vietnamese in America today, with "Nguyen" being a more prevalent last name than even my own, but they didn't come here to take over our country. They came here as refugees from the "American War" as they call it in Vietnam today.

So that's the story of my life when it comes to American "Interventionism". Feel free to offer any positive real-life stories you have to share with us.
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Re: Interventionism versus non-interventionism

Post by boglerdude » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:33 pm

Should we have let N Korea (China's pit bull) take over S Korea

Also, would like to hear 'Nam stories...
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Re: Interventionism versus non-interventionism

Post by Kbg » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:24 am

hardlawjockey wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:34 pm
Kbg wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:00 pm
The idea that "we have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" took hold for good and refuses to let go.

Anyone who says the above disparagingly has never actually been in a war zone.
Well, I spent 12 months in a war zone and saw nothing that convinced me of the truth of that statement.
Really!? Your war zone must have been way nicer than mine.

To be clear, I am not debating the good or bad of Vietnam (or my personal wars)...but I am incredulous that you think having any war where you live is preferable to having it somewhere else.
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Re: Interventionism versus non-interventionism

Post by moda0306 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:30 am

Kbg wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:24 am
hardlawjockey wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:34 pm
Kbg wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:00 pm
The idea that "we have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" took hold for good and refuses to let go.

Anyone who says the above disparagingly has never actually been in a war zone.
Well, I spent 12 months in a war zone and saw nothing that convinced me of the truth of that statement.
Really!? Your war zone must have been way nicer than mine.

To be clear, I am not debating the good or bad of Vietnam (or my personal wars)...but I am incredulous that you think having any war where you live is preferable to having it somewhere else.
The idea that we had to slaughter hundreds of thousands of southeast Asian peasants to prevent them or their ideas from doing us damage here is utterly ridiculous.

So the entire premise upon which you're resting your "incredulous" claim is vacuous.
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Re: Interventionism versus non-interventionism

Post by Kbg » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:14 pm

You should read everything after “to be clear” more carefully.
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Re: Interventionism versus non-interventionism

Post by moda0306 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:30 pm

Kbg wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:14 pm
You should read everything after “to be clear” more carefully.
You're right I should have...

But the reason folks speak disparagingly about that quote ("Fight there so we don't have to fight them here"), is because it's been used by elites and parroted by chicken-hawks all over our country for every unnecessary foreign intervention we've been in to excuse the mass-slaughter of foreigners and sending our boys to go die for the plutocratic class.

So I suppose if I completely divorce that phrase and the "disparaging" of it from actual historical reality as well as our almost infinite arsenal to defend ourselves from any sort of actual attack, then I can agree with you that "yes, theoretically, all-things-being-equal, having the battlefield be far away is better than having it be here."
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Re: Interventionism versus non-interventionism

Post by Mountaineer » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:05 pm

moda0306 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:30 pm
Kbg wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:14 pm
You should read everything after “to be clear” more carefully.
You're right I should have...

But the reason folks speak disparagingly about that quote ("Fight there so we don't have to fight them here"), is because it's been used by elites and parroted by chicken-hawks all over our country for every unnecessary foreign intervention we've been in to excuse the mass-slaughter of foreigners and sending our boys to go die for the plutocratic class.

So I suppose if I completely divorce that phrase and the "disparaging" of it from actual historical reality as well as our almost infinite arsenal to defend ourselves from any sort of actual attack, then I can agree with you that "yes, theoretically, all-things-being-equal, having the battlefield be far away is better than having it be here."
That arsenal of ours did not work out too well on December 7, 1941 or September 11, 2001. I'm not sure what the answer is because I'm not privy to all the necessary facts. I doubt there is a one size fits all answer to the topic.
I've learned that to ignore the truth does not change the truth.
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Re: Interventionism versus non-interventionism

Post by technovelist » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:21 pm

Mountaineer wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:05 pm
moda0306 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:30 pm
Kbg wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:14 pm
You should read everything after “to be clear” more carefully.
You're right I should have...

But the reason folks speak disparagingly about that quote ("Fight there so we don't have to fight them here"), is because it's been used by elites and parroted by chicken-hawks all over our country for every unnecessary foreign intervention we've been in to excuse the mass-slaughter of foreigners and sending our boys to go die for the plutocratic class.

So I suppose if I completely divorce that phrase and the "disparaging" of it from actual historical reality as well as our almost infinite arsenal to defend ourselves from any sort of actual attack, then I can agree with you that "yes, theoretically, all-things-being-equal, having the battlefield be far away is better than having it be here."
That arsenal of ours did not work out too well on December 7, 1941 or September 11, 2001. I'm not sure what the answer is because I'm not privy to all the necessary facts. I doubt there is a one size fits all answer to the topic.
The arsenal was not intended to work in the way you seem to mean, on those dates.

Pearl Harbor was the result of deliberate incitement of the Japanese so that the American public would agree to go to war.
9/11 was a false flag. I don't know who exactly did it, but I do know that the official explanations for the WTC building collapses, especially building 7, cannot possibly be true, and cannot possibly be innocently wrong.

By the way, these are not outliers in any sense. As far as I can tell, every excuse for the US going to war after the War of 1812 has either been deliberately incited or was a false flag.
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